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Old 18th April 2019, 14:28   #1
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Default South India Ride: 4 Dominars, 4 Brothers

Ladies and Gentleman, once upon a time there lived 4 brothers who lived in a small house in a small village in India. Everyday they went to the woods in search of food and fire, and came back by evening completely exhausted. The day would end with some wine and bread together, before they slept off prepping up for the next day's ordeal. Everything resembled routined monotony, but it kept them safe. However, they knew it can't go on forever, it had to change.

One fine day, enroute their usual search place, they came across 4 Stallions wandering with graceful roaylity in the woods, and it started to decrypt, what was missing. That precious thing, which can neither be bought nor be sold, neither be written nor told, it can only be sought and tyrant-ly felt. It is often described my many as Freedom, Contentment, Inner Peace, Knowing Thyself. I do not know how or what to name it, I just believe it tranforms an average individual into an Indie Person.

Those four brothers, there on, went on to ride far off places, from Mountains to Oceans, from kingdoms to Forests. Their bond grew stronger, and what unveiled eventually was the sweet nectar of brotherhood, freedom, contentment and they rode together happily ever after...

Cliche'd is it?

Ladies and Gentlemen! Introducing the four stallions!
South India Ride: 4 Dominars, 4 Brothers-1.jpg


Tamil Nadu celebrates Pongal with a lot of pomp and pride. For an "outsider" like me, it is a beautiful feeling to be a part of the vibrant celebration, and also it brings us, much sought after and rare, LONG VACATION. (A little about we 4, we come from the same college of engineering, placed in the same company, and stay together. We bought our dominars, more or less, at the same time smitten by how beautifully it blends into our requirements.) This long vacation we planned to ride through the beautiful terrains of South India covering about 2,700 kms in a period of 7 days.

A peek into our ride plan:
South India Ride: 4 Dominars, 4 Brothers-jan-trip-plan_1.jpg


Day 1: (Chennai to Dindigul)

Saturday's are our half-days, and post work we started directly from office at about 1 PM. As it is with almost all weekends, GST was overcrowded with outstation buses and cars, added to that it was the on-coming pongal holidays, that put us completely off, as It was extremely congested all the way till tindivanam. The journey was rather uneventful, and our speed were restricted to 70~80 kph, thanks to the crazy crowd.

Caption 1: @ our Office Parking spot
South India Ride: 4 Dominars, 4 Brothers-2.jpg
[L to R: Sushant (aka Susu), Aravind (aka Golu), Karthik (aka Lala) and yours truly (aka Pujju)]



Day 2: (Dindigul - Sholayar Dam - Coimbatore)

We started by about 7 AM after a good night's sleep. We had already fuelled up last night, as our general custom, to ensure we could hit the roads straight. We had to cross the holy town of Pazhani before we start our accent to Valparai. Dindigul to Pazhani was single lane state highway, the route condition, though good, was quite busy with pedestrian pilgrims walking on the shoulders of the highway.

We stopped by a place for some hot sundal (Boiled Chickpeas) and coffee
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If you notice, there is a separate pedestrian pavement, however there would always be some rebels, walking on the highway instead.

As we started early, we didn't have time for proper breakfast, and we found this amazing place on the outskirts of Pazhani. It was a roadside small place run by this super sweet family. The place doesn't have a legit name or board though, but you will be smitten by the ultra crisp and delicious Dosas, which aunty makes with ot of enthusiasm.
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Post our filling breakfast, it was time to hit the roads, since the time we started yesterday, we haven't experienced empty roads, to blissfully enjoy our dominars.

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Post Pazhani, the roads opened up, and as you approach the foothills of Valparai, you are greeted by windmills and humungous farmlands.

Posing
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Got BHP?
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As we were about to ascend, we were caught by cops who had made up their mind in making some serious moolah. Upon being stopped, we were quite confident as we had all necessary documents ready with us, including PUC for a vehicle that hasn't completed 1 year, just to be extra sure! They checked our documents, and were disappointed, we cheered them up by saying they were doing a great job by checking on every biker reducing the risk of a mishap, and ended up making good friends with them. They gave us a thumbs up, and asked us to ride safe.

We were welcomed by picturesque mountains, and the serene tea estates of Valparai.
I'd let the photos do the talking for a while.

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Lower Aaliyar Dam
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We had decided to take a U-Turn at Sholayar Dam and reach Coimbatore before the sun sets to ensure we are not riding in the dark on the ghats.

Sholayar Dam can be seen almost 5 kms before you reach the actual gate. (Water was much lesser, you could see the water line when the dam is at its best)
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We managed to descend before it was dark.
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We reached Coimbatore, had booked a hotel via Booking.com. Nothing interesting to talk about, had quick dinners and rested for the night.

Last edited by Nifty.Nishy : 18th April 2019 at 15:50.
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Old 18th April 2019, 15:38   #2
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Default Re: South India Ride: 4 Dominars, 4 Brothers

Day 3: Coimbatore - Ooty - Chikmanglur

We had a big debate about our Day 3 ride. Golu wanted all of us to Cover Ooty enroute Chikmanglur, as it offers amazing landscapes, tranquil viewpoints, and serence Tea Estates. The only problem being our riding time would go up by 2 hours. Google had predicted our initial riding time 10hrs (Without Ooty), which translates to actual riding time to about 12 hrs. Inclusive of Ooty, it goes to 14 hrs. We weren't quite sure, but we couldn't live with a regret that we didn't cover Ooty, while we could have, and the decision was made. Moreover as we were all together, we thought, we could deal with whatever comes.

Our first stop was at Kodanadu Viewpoint.

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(L to R: Yours Truly, Golu, Lala and the curious case of Susu)

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We rode via Kotagiri to Ooty. It was such a delight!

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We were supposed to take the route via Masinagudi, but it had been temporarily blocked (some animal killings), which meant, we had to go via Pykara, and take the right at Gudalur entering Mudumalai and then Bandipur. Our tentative riding time had increased to 16 hours for that day

Pykara takes us through mystical Eucalyptus Plantations.
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It led us to Mudumalai-Bandipur Forest. We were quite curiously looking out for a glimpse of some fauna, we did manage to see some elephants and spotted deers across the way. The Roads were beautifully maintained, and lots of speed breakers, kept sanity in check.

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One of the biggest challanges that we faced was on this day. We crossed Mysore by evening, and from Krishnarajanagara, we had to leave the Highway. It was already dark, and we had left the highway, now it was just single laned State Highway, which was not so well maintained, with potholes and rough roads all through out the road. We somehow managed to cross the stretch hoping for better roads ahead. And to our utter despair, the roads were under construction for a good 50 kms. It was just dust, and rough roads all through out alongwith oncoming traffic. After crossing the horrendous stretch, we took a short break, it was already 10 PM, and Chikmanglur was another 80 kms more! We couldn't spot any Hotels as well. We stopped by a small junction, managed to get some redbulls and sandwiches for dinner. and headed straight to Chikmanglur.

The visibility was poor, even with Dominar's excellent headlamps. Susu came infront next to me, and the ride became much easier with two dominars, leading the way! (Brotherhood!!)
South India Ride: 4 Dominars, 4 Brothers-38.jpg

South India Ride: 4 Dominars, 4 Brothers-39.jpg

We had booked Zostel Chikmanglur, and reached there by 12 30 after a whooping 16 hrs of ride of almost 593 kms. We almost went into coma once we hit our bed.

The ride definitely brought out the sense of brotherhood, and importance of sticking together. Even though it was killing, I personally loved Day 3 ride.

Last edited by Nifty.Nishy : 18th April 2019 at 15:55.
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Old 18th April 2019, 16:51   #3
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Day 4: (Chikmanglur to Varca, Goa)

After the tiring Day-3, we had an amazing sleep at Zostel. We had booked zostel before, at Gokarna and Coorg, and thoroughly loved the experience. Zostel Chikmanglur was no exception, located in the woods, it was quite peaceful and had its own hip charm.

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We started before other inmates at Zostel had even considered snoozing their alarms. The roads were fabulous, and it was a pleasure to drive through.
Attachment 1869524

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As we started early, we were alreaady hungry, and we found the perfect place! A restaurant amidst Coffee Estates.

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This cute doggo came over to say Hello!
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Simple and Deliciously beautiful
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Coffee from the farm!
South India Ride: 4 Dominars, 4 Brothers-59.jpg

The amazing thing about Google Maps is, it shows you the best route, saving you time and distance, unfortunately there is no variable called comfort. As we had fed in our maps, that it was motorcycle, Google Maps took us through the best route, through the forest!
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The entire stretch was beautiful, but off-roading wasn't exactly on our mind in this trip.

We were excited as we were heading to Goa! And nobody is unhappy when they are in goa (except for Saif Ali Khan in Dil Chahta Hai).

After having ridden inside cities all the while, this trip took us through forests, a little more than we wanted. But then it was nice!
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The beautiful West Coast
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Day 4: Stay in Goa

We chose to stay in Club Mahindra, Varca. Now that's a quite lavish Resort. We loved the place, it has a beach to itself, with not many "tourists". The beach is clean. Water's clear. Food isn't all that expensive.

When in Goa, I make it a point to go to my personal favorite restaurant, Martin's Corner. It is located in Betalbatim, South Goa.

South India Ride: 4 Dominars, 4 Brothers-71.jpg

It's a beautiful place, with live music, karaokes etc.
South India Ride: 4 Dominars, 4 Brothers-img_1551.jpg
My customary song, when I visit here
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Old 18th April 2019, 18:16   #4
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Day 5: (Varca, Goa to Hampi)

After having taken proper rest in Goa, we were all set to head to Hampi.
We had booked our place in Hippie Island, and this place has been in my list for a long time now.

We started from Goa, and entered Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary. Beautiful roads, lots of Biker Groups, mostly from Bangalore.

South India Ride: 4 Dominars, 4 Brothers-73.jpg

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Eventhough there wasn't much vehicle movement on this route, condition of roads weren't all that good. Lot of under construction roads, improper diversions.
South India Ride: 4 Dominars, 4 Brothers-80.jpg

We reached Hampi by evening 7~7:30. Since the hotel we booked was in Hampi Island, before Hosapete, we had to take the left. It took us through villages, and the boulders across even though not quite visible, had an imposing vibes all along.

We had booked R.K. Residency, nice hippie kind of place, with lot of Israeli Guests.
South India Ride: 4 Dominars, 4 Brothers-82.jpg

The in-house restaurant.
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Thukpa was delicious, and music was progressive EDM, nice touch!
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Day 5: Stay in Hampi

We slept for the night, and when we woke up, this place was like a different dimesion altogether.
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We got ready, and headed to explore the place.
First destination was Durga Temple, which is located on top of a big boulder.
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Now we had to cross Holy Tungabhadra to reach Hampi town.

Golu and Lala inspecting how to cross the river.
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Susu: Selfie to banta hai boss!
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Hampi left me awestruck, wondering the kind of beauty it would have been, if the Khiljis wouldn't have attacked and damaged all the temples.

We visited the Virupaksha temple and went near foothills of Matanga Hill. However the temperature was shooting up, and we just felt like returning back and chilling out at the hotel.

South India Ride: 4 Dominars, 4 Brothers-115.jpg

I had heard a lot about a restaurant called "The Laughing Buddha Cafe", it was situated very close to our Hotel, and we decided to visit there for lunch.
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Caption: Perfect Chillout Place!
South India Ride: 4 Dominars, 4 Brothers-118.jpg

We looked around at the thrift shops in Hampi Island, bought a few stuff, and called it a day.

Day 6: (Hampi - Bengaluru ? / Chennai ?)

As per our initial plan, we were supposed to stay in Bengaluru tonight.
And once we started from Hampi, and crossed Hosapete, we were on National Highway, the Chitradurga route. Excellent Highway helped us maintain pretty good speeds. We were easily cruising at 120 kph. The day was rather uneventful, until we reached Cafe Coffee day, 60 kms ahead of Bengaluru, and it was just 1 PM. Suddenly we thought, since we knew Bangalore-Chennai Highway like the back of our hand, and we weren't much tired, thanks to the excellent roads, why not push straight to Chennai.

We were talking about 700+ kms in a single day!
Were we out of our mind? Apparently not! Well if we reached Chennai earlier than our scheduled time, it would give us more time to rest and get over the hangover of this amazing trip! And again, as like last time, we 4 were togthere, come what may, we would deal with it together, as brothers!
And with spirits held high, we started.
South India Ride: 4 Dominars, 4 Brothers-119.jpg

We didn't push ourselves, had timely breaks, rode at sane speeds, and kept singing to ourselves inside those helmets! Stopped by for dinner at around 8 PM at Sai Sangeet, I guess the most famous spot for people traveling in Bangalore-Chennai Highway. Excellent food, and refeshing break.
South India Ride: 4 Dominars, 4 Brothers-120.jpg

We reached Chennai by evening 11 PM covering 730 kms in a single day (first timer for all of us)
South India Ride: 4 Dominars, 4 Brothers-121.jpg

The 4 stallions took us from Crowded Cities to Isolated forests, from mountains to oceans, and filled in us a week full of experiences, some bitter, some sweet, but as Chitwan says in TVF Tripling "Baba, ye anubhav bhi zaroori hai" (Translate: Baba, this experience is also important).

Thank you for taking your time in reading this!
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South India Ride: 4 Dominars, 4 Brothers-98.jpg  

South India Ride: 4 Dominars, 4 Brothers-107.jpg  

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Old 18th April 2019, 18:26   #5
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Mod note: Thread moved from Assembly Line to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 19th April 2019, 09:54   #6
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Default Re: South India Ride: 4 Dominars, 4 Brothers

Dear Nifty Nishy

Thank you for such a beautiful post. Clearly depicts the trip that is taken by a group of motorheads!

Last edited by ampere : 19th April 2019 at 10:42.
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Old 19th April 2019, 11:14   #7
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Wow, that was quite an exciting adventure! Hats off to all 4 of you for undertaking such a ride while covering so many important tourist spots in South India. How about a trip to explore Kerala the next time?

Also, the travelogue goes to enforce what an awesome touring motorcycle the Dominar can be. Covering 730 kms on the last day, for riders who havent done that distance before, is a true testament to how comfortable the motorcycle can be. How I wish Bajaj had marketed this wonderful bike better from day 1! Im glad the 4 of you made the right choice for a touring motorcycle and look forward to more adventures from you guys.
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Old 19th April 2019, 16:14   #8
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Wow! That is quiet some distance within South India. Dominar's off lately has been preferred by a lot riders for touring long distances, talks volume of the machine. Glad you guys are back safe and sound.

Google maps has a knack of landing us into the wild often, glad you guys enjoyed that adventure. I make sure to check with locals as well during breaks and do a small research about the routes while planning the ride. Makes you more aware of the routes which you would take.

You guys can plan a coastal route including Kerela next time. Ride Safe. Cheers
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Old 19th April 2019, 17:16   #9
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Default Re: South India Ride: 4 Dominars, 4 Brothers

Nice travelogue guys!! You guys are giving the Dominar more popularity than the Bajaj marketing team I guess!

Looks like you guys went helmet shopping also together like you guys went motorcycle shopping!! Is that the MT Mugello? Please add a short review of the helmets as well!
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Old 19th April 2019, 17:43   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo_Ipe View Post
Nice travelogue guys!! You guys are giving the Dominar more popularity than the Bajaj marketing team I guess!

Looks like you guys went helmet shopping also together like you guys went motorcycle shopping!! Is that the MT Mugello? Please add a short review of the helmets as well!
yes, we bought helmets also together (forgot to mention that). This is among the basic series of MT Helmets. Pretty functional for the price range, does the job perfectly well. Ventilation is one area where they could improve, but not much issues. In about 1 year of ownership, I have faced fogging hardly twice, that too once the vehicle is in move, it cleared up pretty fast, basic ventilation takes care of that.

I have had a fall sometime back, just a few scratches. Completely satisfied currently, may consider an upgrade after an year or so.
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Old 19th April 2019, 22:41   #11
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Nice bike-alogue. Always like motorcycle trips with some neat pics. Nice to see you guys had fun.

Any issues at all with any of the machines?
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Old 20th April 2019, 11:58   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
Wow, that was quite an exciting adventure! Hats off to all 4 of you for undertaking such a ride while covering so many important tourist spots in South India. How about a trip to explore Kerala the next time?

Also, the travelogue goes to enforce what an awesome touring motorcycle the Dominar can be. Covering 730 kms on the last day, for riders who havent done that distance before, is a true testament to how comfortable the motorcycle can be. How I wish Bajaj had marketed this wonderful bike better from day 1! Im glad the 4 of you made the right choice for a touring motorcycle and look forward to more adventures from you guys.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aashish_390 View Post
Wow! That is quiet some distance within South India. Dominar's off lately has been preferred by a lot riders for touring long distances, talks volume of the machine. Glad you guys are back safe and sound.

Google maps has a knack of landing us into the wild often, glad you guys enjoyed that adventure. I make sure to check with locals as well during breaks and do a small research about the routes while planning the ride. Makes you more aware of the routes which you would take.

You guys can plan a coastal route including Kerela next time. Ride Safe. Cheers
Thank You so much guys, truly appreciate it.
Well we did Coastal Kerela couple of times, but mostly on rental cars, and not our Dominars. The summer heat is what is making us stay at home. Once the Monsoon kicks in, we should be back on road. Would definitely plan on Kerela then, and yes it is such a beautiful place, as their tourism slogan goes "God's Own Country"

About our Dominars, it is perfect for touring, we could cover good distances with not much fatigue. The best thing about the state of tune of its heart is it doesn't burn a hole in your pocket with fuel/service bills, and yet takes you places at ease. On the last day we were cruising at 120kph, and the bike didn't sweat at all. The Bike was quite calm and stable, just that the rider needs to be more alert for the drama that kicks in on our highways in India.

Quote:
Originally Posted by naveenroy View Post
Nice bike-alogue. Always like motorcycle trips with some neat pics. Nice to see you guys had fun.

Any issues at all with any of the machines?
Thank You so much.

Well during the trip, there were no issues at all with the machines. They worked seamlessly. We didn't even had a puncture!

But having said that, no bike is perfect. Dominar also has a few downers.
I had thought of covering all of those in a fresh ownership thread, once I cross the 25,000 kms mark, should be by next month I guess.

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 20th April 2019 at 12:09. Reason: back to back posts merged.
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Old 26th April 2019, 16:48   #13
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Default Re: South India Ride: 4 Dominars, 4 Brothers

Great trip! Though I feel it was a bit too hurriedly done - but hey, what's a bike trip which doesn't stretch you out

Being a Dominar owner myself, I know it is a great machine - probably the best Bajaj has ever made. I haven't got any issue till now in my 11k ownership experience. It is a great tourer and pulls like beast on highways - thanks to the super amazing 6th. Only downer I personally feel is the rear stiff suspension for my comfort - but keeping the recommended air pressure does the work.

Thanks for sharing!
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Old 28th April 2019, 10:54   #14
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Default Re: South India Ride: 4 Dominars, 4 Brothers

Beautifully compiled blog, you have covered a lot of place in a very short span of time. Friends earned during long trips stay for a lifetime. Dominar is a bike that will keep going on and on. Lots of details shared.
Keep travelling and sharing such experiences.
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Old 31st May 2019, 21:53   #15
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Just one word - Amazing brother!

I donít know but the brotherhood displayed in the trip and the travelogue had me glued to it. Itís just out of words to have friends with like minds, starting from class and to live life together! Itís always been one of my dreams but life had different goals set to my group of friends and we live in different cities. This travelogue gives me some zeal to try and plan for a trip in the coming days.

Itís a sight to behold when convoy of same bikes ride on the roads
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